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Change your thoughts for a better life

Photo: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay
Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
— Frank Outlaw

The idea that our beliefs dictate our speech is not an agreeable one when we question the authenticity and origin of the former. Since our birth our beliefs have been influenced by the people around us, the books we read, movies we watch, etc., and if the messages we surround ourselves with are negative, these become our reality. For instance, if we believe we are victims of circumstances, no amount of proof otherwise is going to change our thinking for a long time. Contrarily, people who surround themselves with positivity rarely find reasons to complain.

What we think about ourselves impacts our lives, and positive thoughts and speech lead to productive behaviour whereas negative beliefs cause stress and anxiety. According to Marisa Peer, a world-renowned speaker, Rapid Transformational Therapy trainer and bestselling author, “Whatever thought you are thinking, your body is very busy making it real and if you tell yourself a better lie, your body will work very hard to make that thought real.”

Hence, it is unfortunate that we tend to dwell more on negative experiences than positive ones. The reason for this, according to Rick Hanson, psychologist, New York Times bestselling author and therapist, “Billions of years ago, our ancestors lived in a world of carrots and sticks where carrots were the reward and sticks the punishment. Over hundreds of millions of years, it was a matter of life and death to pay extra attention to sticks, react to them intensely, remember them well and over time become even more sensitive to them.”

While this may no longer be valid today, negative bias influences our perception of people and surroundings, decisions and behaviour, which makes it important for us to alter our beliefs, thoughts and language. This may take a lot of effort but the results can be life changing.

We can start the process by:

Taking control of our thoughts: Which means channelising our thoughts towards happier and more productive ones.

Avoiding toxicity: In day-to-day life, it is impossible to avoid a surfeit of emotions from anger and dislike to compassion and happiness. At the end of the day, remember to take with you only the latter two feelings.

Pray or meditate: Wake up each morning with a prayer on your lips or meditate with attention to your breathing, both of which supports you through the rest of your day.

Think before you speak: Don’t allow yourself to speak when you are hurt or angry because words spoken then cannot be undone. They harm the speaker and the listener.

Be kind to others: Simple acts like helping someone out of a difficulty or just listening to someone talk about their problems are unselfish acts which could be the highlight of the recipient’s day; for, however selfless your behaviour, you still reap its benefit in the boost it gives your self-esteem when you bring happiness to others.

© Parizad Trikannad

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1 Comment

Mahrukh Khajotia
Mahrukh Khajotia
Mar 20, 2023

Love the words by Frank Outlaw.

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